Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways to Connect

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Police are trying to piece together what led to multiple shots being fired Sunday night at a large party that claimed the life of a 41-year-old man on the city’s near west side.  An officer also fired her weapon during the melee.  Mayor Stephanie Miner says police had an idea there could be a problem at an annual father’s day gathering near Skiddy Park.

Jeremiah Thompson / WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner signed a law Thursday that she believes is a major step towards eliminating economic inequality in the City of Syracuse.   The Resident Hiring Ordinance requires 20 percent of workers on city contracts over $100,000 be residents of the city.

nysl.nysed.gov

Republican voters in the 22nd congressional district will have three candidates to choose from when they go to the polls on June 28th.

twitter.com @verhouseinc

Under reporting and lack of public discussion seem to be the biggest barriers to stopping elder abuse.  Wednesday marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and Vera House Project Coordinator Jenny Hicks says the issue is frequently ignored or avoided.   

    

Jeremiah Thompson / WAER News

  The raising of a rainbow flag in front of city hall elicited applause from the somber crowd gathered to mark the beginning of CNY Pride Week.  What is usually a festive event was tempered by the tragedy in Florida over the weekend.

hendricks.syr.edu

The Muslim Chaplain at Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel says Muhammad Ali was one of history’s most influential and inspiring individuals who was strongly committed to bringing about change in the world.  WAER brings this perspective of a religious leader who says Ali lived the core values of Islam.  Dr. Ahmed Malik  says Muhammad Ali stepped out of the ring, so to speak, to serve all people.

New York State Begins its $10.4 Billion Commitment to Combat Homelessness

Jun 9, 2016
Housing and Homeless Coalition of Syracuse and Onondaga County
https://twitter.com/hhcofcny

  What would it take to eliminate homelessness in Syracuse and across New York State? That’s the question Governor Cuomo hopes to answer with the launch of his Homelessness Action Plan. He pledged $10.4 billion during the State of the State address to fight homelessness over the next five years. Organizations in Syracuse will soon be submitting proposals for a share of those funds.

Christian Unkenholz / WAER News

The summer travel season is just around the corner and Syracuse TSA officials want airline travelers to be prepared.  Federal Security Director of Upstate New York Bart Johnson shares some tips for a faster screening process.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  A World War Two navy veteran in Syracuse who lost his son in Vietnam is closer than he’s ever been to getting his son’s name on the Vietnam memorial wall.  Senator Chuck Schumer has been doing his part, and paid a visit Monday to 91-year-old Larry Reilly at his home on Meadowbrook Drive. 

"Are you Larry?"  Schumer asked as he entered the house.

"Yes I am!"  Larry Reilly replied enthusiastically.

"It's an honor to meet you, an honor," Schumer said.

"Welcome to Syracuse," Reilly said.

Jason Chen / WAER News

  

Dozens of 5th and 6th graders from Syracuse City Schools took a break from the classroom Friday to practice their swing, run bases and also bump into the Major League Baseball Commissioner at Burnet Park.  Robert Manfred visited Syracuse today to celebrate the city's partnership with the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program (RBI) to promote wider participation in baseball and softball programs.  RBI provides programmatic support from uniforms to coaches to training.    

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